“You’ll be surprised who’s not going to make it.”

The director of my program uttered those words minutes after I finished my personal introduction. It was a standard meet and greet where all students entering the program stood, stated their name/hometown/major and listened to several department heads speak. Those words were spoken (in regards to college retention) at the summer orientation a few months prior to my first year in college echoed in my head nearly every day after. It felt as though this wise, cultured, supremely educated man had looked into my future and seen my fate. He was talking to an auditorium of around 60 other students, but it felt like a personal attack. Until that point, the thought that I may not finish my degree hadn’t occurred to me. While the director spoke those words under the guise of being “real”, I internalized and heard something completely different.

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